Fair: All alpacas, all the time

(Posted July 17, 2020)

By Dedra Cordle, Staff Writer/Photographer

Alpacas took the spotlight at the Madison County Junior Fair on July 16, and the majority of them seemed to enjoy it. Some, however, did not, much to the chagrin of their handlers who tried to get the animals to go through an obstacle course and showcase their control skills in front of the judge. Regardless of the alpacas’ stubborn sides on display, much fun was had at the EBY Arena during these events.

Bella King, 11, helps her “Royce” get through the uneven platform portion of the alpaca obstacle course. King, a resident of Mount Sterling and a member of the Green Range 4-H Club, took first place in the junior division and third in the overall obstacle course event.
During the alpaca show obstacle course event, most of the animals were not at all thrilled with the dangling string obstacle, but Calista Wallace coaxed hers through it. The West Jefferson resident and member of the Double L II 4-H Club has been competing at in obstacle course for three years.
Upper Arlington resident Beverly Kinateder guides an alpaca through the cones portion of the obstacle course event. Kinateder is a member of the Double L II 4-H Club.
“Anthem” watches as handler Maddy Estep, 11, leaps over a jumping obstacle on the course. Estep, a London resident and member of the Helping Hands Happy Hearts 4-H Club, said her alpaca is usually all for the jumps, but when mid-day strikes all he wants to do is nap. He did make it over the obstacle, helping his human partner to a second-place finish.
Olivia Cramer of Dublin entered her angelic alpaca, “Grace,” in the costume contest. Cramer is a member of the Double L II 4-H Club.
“Junior” leaps over an obstacle with encouragement from his handler, Mark Covert, 9. Covert, a London resident and member of the Fairfield Rascals 4-H Club, took third place in the alpaca obstacle course event for 8- to 11-year-olds.
Cade Smith of West Jefferson tries to properly position his alpaca, “Ernie,” in front of the judge during the overall showmanship event. The 17-year-old Smith, a member of the London FFA and Helping Hands Happy Hearts 4-H Club, placed second overall. He also took first place in the senior class obstacle course and second place in the Class 4 overall obstacle course. He said the trick to navigating the course with a spunky alpaca is that it has to “trust you.”
During the alpaca show, participants in Class 7 Junior Showmanship take their animals around the ring.
While COVID-19 may have altered the look of this year’s fair, it did not take away people’s appetite for fair food. Here, D.J. Covert of London and Julie Betz of Mount Sterling get ready to dig into a plate of Peggy Sue’s giant ribbon potato.
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